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100 best New York restaurants: Spanish food and tapas

Funky Basque tapas, boutique jamon and modern Iberian cuisine are the draws at these top spots, the best New York restaurants for a lusty Spanish spread.

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

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100 best New York restaurants: Txikito


100 best New York restaurants: Boqueria

Photograph: Lizz Kuehl

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Spanish food is a favorite fixation of local food obsessives, and some of the best New York restaurants concentrate on the Iberian pleasures of sizzling, garlicky bites and native wine to wash them down. Here are New York’s greatest Spanish restaurants, where you can graze on wispy slices of Serrano ham, scrape away at a briny paellas or cobble together a tapas feast of lemony anchovies, plump head-on shrimp and crisp patatas bravas served in hot clay crocks.

RECOMMENDED: Full list of 100 best New York restaurants


Critics' pick

At this easygoing taberna, chef Seamus Mullen (Boqueria) offers an idealized spin on old-fashioned Spanish fare, with rustic regional grub and hard cider on tap. Peer into the open kitchen and you’ll get an idea of what’s really at work here—the chef is flanked by a wood-burning grill on one side and by a whole haunch of Iberico ham on the other. This back-to-basics approach rarely draws much attention to itself. Never mind that the pimentón-spiced potatoes have just the right crunch, that the lamb breast is as tender as pork belly and smoky grilled clams arrive to the table right as they’ve popped. The homespun desserts—crispy crêpes rolled around vanilla custard, a fine sweet-and-salty chocolate tart—are just as easy to scarf down without pondering too much. Which is just as it should be.

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West Village


Critics' pick

Chef Alexandra Raij celebrates the cuisine of Spain’s Basque region at this spartan tapas spot. Though it lacks the bustle of Raij’s previous projects (Tia Pol, El Quinto Pino), her sprawling menu still features some solid Iberian fare. Adventurous eats include breaded-and-fried tongue cutlets; squid cut into wispy strands with sweet onions and garlic; and fries with cod-roe mayonnaise. In the end though, expediency—most nights a small party can get in with little wait—may be the best reason for choosing Txikito over its often-packed forebears.

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Critics' pick

Given that Boqueria is named for Barcelona’s centuries-old food market, you might expect the menu to lean toward the classics. Not quite. Bacalao (salt cod), a standard tapas ingredient, is served here as an airy and crisp beignet. The most successful sangria is an unorthodox beer-based version that mixes lager, pear puree, lemon juice and triple sec. The Flatiron location is small and the bar area packed; a better bet is the 16-seat communal table, where you can nibble shaved jamón under the glow of filament bulbs.

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This flashy Spanish eatery feels like a party most nights, but chef Luis Bollo’s food is more impressive than the loungey setting suggests. The standouts on the menu—like deep bowls of crispy monkfish and sepia “frito,” tossed with steamed clams, fresh fennel, pickled peppers, potato and spicy aioli—capture the boisterous spirit of authentic tapas-style dining. Bollo is of the kitchen-sink school of cooking, piling on ingredients with mixed results. Successful entrées include salt-crusted striped bass in a tasty tempest of pine nuts, chorizo, asparagus, raisins, spinach and confited potato, as well as a suckling pig, with crispy skin brushed in honey. For a sweet finale, try the caramelized torrija bread pudding soaked in brandy.

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Dalya m
Dalya m

We know that Spain is famous for their awesome place but very few people know that this place are also so good for their delicious food...You have to find their some different kind of food that are amazing to eat...